Hailing from Helsinki, Finland Miss Betty Fvck is one stunning cover girl. Recently starring on the cover of Vogue Italia showcasing her talent and serving face. Not just a pretty face Betty has achieved success in the art of Burlesque wowing crowds across the world. We grabbed a chat with Betty to talk Vogue, Pride, drag advice and the highlights of her career!
DA: When did you decide to begin a career in drag and what was your first show experience like?
Betty Fvck: I have always been a drag fan since I learned about Rupaul’s Drag Race back in 2010. However, in Finland (where I live), drag was not a big thing back then. What really nurtured the love for drag within me was from 2014-2015, when I lived in NYC. I hung out at drag bars every week and enjoyed the shows very much!
Back home in Finland, I tried doing make-up and dressing up as a woman for some Halloween parties and tried to take part in some newbie competitions if possible. Then, in 2017, I competed in an event named Helsinki Drag Battle and my professional drag career kicked off from there.
My experience was splendid! I didn’t expect I could look so much like a woman like that, thanks to the crew, makeup artists, hair stylists, and costume makers. Also, my sister who taught me how to dance. I started completely from zero.
DA: How did you get into the art of burlesque? Was there a particular artist that got you inspired?
BF: Before I started the whole thing, I had no idea what Burlesque really was. It just happened that my first act ever was a ‘burlesque-ish’ number and I used that act’s footage to show to many producers and it happened that many burlesque shows started to book me (So probably that act was very good). As you know, the burlesque/cabaret and the drag scene are kind of blending together at some point and the transition between them excites me.
Ever since I took part in many burlesque shows, events, festivals, I started to look at it more seriously and learned about its history, background, and stories. I think that it is stunning! So far, the most beautiful and meaningful that I have done to myself ever.
I particularly think there are not so many drags in the burlesque scene and nowadays people are still confused how to call us probably, ‘Burlesque’, ‘Variety show’, ‘alternative’, ‘boylesque’, or…’Draglesque’. I know and admire many drag artists who do burlesque in different ways; the one I particularly adore and look up to in terms of style, inspiration, and art is Violet Chachki.
DA: How would you sum up Betty Fvck’s persona in a sentence?
BF: You never know what you can get from her.
DA: Who inspires your drag aesthetically, where do you get all your ideas from?
BF: I couldn’t say some specific names which inspire my look and aesthetic because everyone I’ve met taught me something (really!). In general, I like the vintage aesthetic and the fetish scene. I like it bling-bling, rhinestoned, classy and elegant, but also kinky and edgy. The 20s and 30s things are absolutely a thrill to me. It might have been so because my mom used to hang those vintage photos on the walls and they were stuck on my mind forever.
DA: You modeled in Vogue Italia where you appeared in some stunning shots. How did the shoot come about, what was the most exciting part of the shoot for you?
BF: There was not only one shoot, so far two and they were totally different experiences to me. The latest one with the Baroque look was a very spontaneous one, we took it with Ricardo Santos an hour before my Helsinki Pride Parade participation. It turned out amazing.
Before this one, I did a photoshoot with Neil ‘Nez’ Kendall in Chester UK. We planned that shooting for almost half a year and the whole journey from Helsinki to Chester with two suitcases full of costumes was really a pain. It turned out fabulous as hell. I love them, Thanks, Neil!
DA: You perform primarily in Helsinki – what is the drag scene like there? Is it perceived well amongst people and is there a big scene?
BF: The drag scene in Helsinki is definitely blossoming, probably because of the global drag-race phenomenon. Before drag race, in Helsinki there were some drag artists performing in some mainstream gay bars, nowadays the drag scene becomes more all-embracing, more welcoming to different styles of drags. This is an extremely wonderful thing.
Is drag a big thing in Finland? Well, as you know the Helsinki Pride Parade is one of the biggest in Europe and the RuPaul’s Drag Race tour (the BOTS tours, editor’s note) had to do two nights here, that shows how much love the people in Helsinki have towards the drag culture. I hope there are more play zones and more showcases of local drag talents toward the people here.
DA: With more drag queens on the rise and being recognised, who are the top 3 queens you recommend us to check out?
BF: There are hundreds of rising stars I have found during my drag career. The list consists of not only 3, rather 300.
Anyway, here are 3 artists who deeply inspire me every day. Theodora Rex, she is a drag queen/king from Helsinki and she was my first impression when I started drag; from her, I learnt that drag is not only about males who do pretty women impersonators. Bambi Mercury is a fierce Berlin drag queen who inspires me a lot with her unique styles and creativity. Disco-caine from Brussels, her crafty art is such a signature and it’s all shown on her amazing costumes. But as said, drag is not only about styles and costumes, it has to come with an attitude and a signature statement from the artist who owes it.
DA: What’s been some of the best advice you’ve been given, be it through drag queens/someone who inspires you?
BF: The one that actually taught me a lot is my dearest Berlin friend, Mika Minetti. At his age, he has experienced enough in the artist world. He took care of me and mentored me in every step I go through. The best thing he told me is, “Dao, remember that you are a star”. (Dao is my boy name)
DA: Have you ever had a fangirl moment when working alongside another queen you admire?
BF: At the backstage of any show, it is not as splendid as the front stage we may imagine. In fact, every artist concerns the most about preparing and doing their own shows with all of the pressure and stuff. So I actually love the idea that in the backstage every artist has to be treated or has to treat each other more or less equally. I do love, adore and admire many artists, but when it comes to work, it is not a fan relationship but colleague.
DA: Of all the wonderful things you’ve achieved in your career so far, what has been the most ‘wow’ moment?
BF: I think life has treated me very well, every now and then I have those ‘wow’ moments; many good things keep coming to me. Right as I am answering this interview, I am on my way to Berlin for some editorial photoshoot this weekend. And then I have to pack to fly to the Scotland burlesque festival in a few days. How nice! Nevertheless, I would say the most ‘wow’ moment I expected is yet to come. I will tell you when…it may happen soon!
And what’s next for Betty Fvck?
BF: Definitely I will improve myself as an artist, on and off stage. I envision myself in the future more into the fashion and burlesque art. I hope more editors will like what I am doing and invite me for more photo shoots. Definitely, more artistic photos and signatures will come from Betty. Thanks and remember to follow my journey.
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